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Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« on: February 22, 2018, 08:04:40 pm »
Wondering if anyone else has experienced this because it is driving me crazy.

I live in a one-room but it has a separate bedroom (a door separates the bedroom/living area and the kitchen area). The bathroom is connected to the kitchen, nowhere near the bedroom. The laundry area is also connected to the kitchen. The building is just barely 2 years old. Never had any issues till now.

For 2 weeks now I've been having this really awful sewage/rotten eggs smell which only comes into my bedroom. It is 100% NOT coming from the bathroom drains, kitchen sink, or laundry room drain. (I have checked multiple times + cleaned the drains + poured water down them to make sure the traps aren't dried out, plus there is simply no odor coming from these areas at all.)

If I close the windows and door, the stench in my bedroom gets unbearable after a couple hours. The only way I've been able to live / sleep in my bedroom is by having windows and door wide open 24/7 (and even then I can still smell it).

I've had the landlord come to my room to "inspect" twice, but both times he came after I'd been airing out the room for hours, so the smell was barely there. He now thinks I'm imagining things, basically. I asked him to come again when the smell was really strong (because I'd closed all the windows) and he refused, saying there's nothing he can do because he checked the drains and there's no problem. My school's solution is for me to move out, which I'd really rather not do because other than this sudden odor, I really love it here. I just want someone professional who can find the source of this terrible odor!!

I don't think it's a gas leak since there's no odor coming from my gas pipes. This smell honestly doesn't seem to be coming from anywhere, although it is significantly stronger at the ceiling, and like I said, only in the bedroom.

Any suggestions? Is there a service I can call? I'm going crazy here!! :sad:


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2018, 09:09:55 pm »
Might be a dead animal (rat, most likely) in the ceiling somewhere, with the smell drifting in through the fixtures.


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2018, 10:48:55 pm »
Are there apartments above you?  It may be coming from someone else's plumbing.


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1089

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2018, 12:51:04 am »
Any suggestions? Is there a service I can call? I'm going crazy here!! :sad:

I think you need a korean person to help you at this point. Ask your school to arrange for an independent plumber to visit.

And don't air the room before the person arrives.

Quote
Might be a dead animal (rat, most likely) in the ceiling somewhere

its surprisingly easy to check the ceiling, its only a sheet of cardboard/ paper.

I only recommend this if you have identical coloured wallpaper, but you basically cut a hole in the cieling with a kraft knife then stand on a stepladder and get your torch out. Then later you paper over the cut with a square of wallpaper.


She says its a sewage/ rotten eggs smell. Thats a bit different to a dead rat, which would basically dry out and not smell so much.

 Its either someone elses plumbing, or maybe someone has taken a dump where they shouldn't.

Quote
Are there apartments above you?

If she's on the ground floor, then it could be people defecating in the alleyway beside her window, in the stairwell.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 01:00:56 am by Cyanea »
Catch my drift?


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2018, 09:12:03 am »
Quote
Might be a dead animal (rat, most likely) in the ceiling somewhere
She says its a sewage/ rotten eggs smell. Thats a bit different to a dead rat, which would basically dry out and not smell so much.

Its either someone elses plumbing, or maybe someone has taken a dump where they shouldn't.

Quote
Are there apartments above you?

If she's on the ground floor, then it could be people defecating in the alleyway beside her window, in the stairwell

Yeah, it is, but I've found that people can sometimes have different impressions about what smells like what in different scenarios, so I tossed that out there, especially since she said that the smell gets stronger closer to the ceiling. As for the animal drying out -- that happens, but it can take a while, and OP says it's been around 2 weeks. Depending on the size of the animal and its location, as well as temperatures and humidity levels here and there, the smell can last for quite some time and become overwhelming. We had a small mouse trapped dead in one of our garage walls, back when I was in middle school. It took us a week to find the thing, and the smell only got worse (not better) before then.

Anyway, I thought it might also be a backed up sewage tank and that her window might be close to a vent... but she said the smell gets a lot stronger after closing the window. This rules out the source of the smell coming from outside.

I thought it might be a neighbor's plumbing as well, but then the smell would be coming from her bathroom -- that kind of plumbing runs down through bathrooms, not through or around apartment bedrooms, especially with the way Korean buildings are constructed to accommodate ondol heating. If this is the case, the smell would be stronger in the bathroom and a lot weaker in the bedroom, especially if she keeps her bathroom door closed throughout the day.

I once read a case about someone shitting through an opening somewhere, though. I dunno.

Anyway, OP, I'd definitely get a third party involved, either someone from the school or a Korean-speaking friend, to act as both a witness to the smell and to insist that the landlord show up to properly smell it, too.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2018, 09:25:11 am by Chinguetti »


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2018, 10:00:01 am »
Is the mailbox of the apartment above or below or beside your bedroom suddenly piling up with stuff? You might have something dead alright.....


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1089

    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2018, 01:29:42 am »
It seems like the smell is coming out of my air conditioner (wall unit). When I open the filter cover the smell gets stronger, but it's already strong enough to fill the room and it reeks! It smells like rotten eggs + a sweetish chemical smell. Really really bad.

Quote
5 Common HVAC Odors (And What Causes Them)
https://learn.compactappliance.com/hvac-odors/

2. Rotten Egg Smell
Provided there aren’t any rotten eggs in your home, then the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur most likely indicates a natural gas leak. Although on its own, natural gas is odorless, most utility providers add the aroma to alert people of a leak. Don’t take this lightly. Open the windows to your home, get out of the house immediately, then call the gas company.

Quote
If your A/C smells like rotten eggs
...you probably have a pest problem or dead animal in your air ducts or your attic.

We know. It’s not pretty to think about, but it happens.

Signs that you have a dead animal in your air ducts:

The smell is stronger the closer you get to the vents.
You’ve heard “scurrying” pests prior to the smell.
You find pest droppings, hair, etc. inside ducts.
What to do: Have a pest control professional locate and remove the animal.
https://georgebrazilhvac.com/blog/why-does-the-air-from-my-air-conditioning-smell-bad


Quote
Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell Bad?
https://yourairexperts.com/blog/why-air-conditioner-smell-bad
If Your Air Conditioner Smells Like Rotten Eggs
If your home smells like spoiled, rotten eggs, the cause of the odor is often a dead animal. Birds and rodents can take shelter in your air duct during the winter, where they can often die and begin to decompose. That’s why when you turn on your air conditioner, a horrible odor circulates throughout your home. Your ducts will need to be professionally cleaned to get rid of any animal remains and remove the smell.

Third link has a "live chat with an expert" option.
Catch my drift?


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2018, 10:28:36 am »
I'm not sure with a wall-mount. Depending on the set up, it might be because something is trapped in the plastic tube that surrounds the lines that goes from the external fan box (compressor?) to your wall-mount, but that might not be large enough for a rodent to get into. Or maybe something is in the external exhaust fan box? Or maybe something is trapped in the "hole" where the lines go from your apartment to the external fan box?

I'm no expert on A/Cs so can someone confirm or disprove this?


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2018, 12:58:58 pm »
Is the smell around 24/7? In my apartment it wasn't constant. The stench would suddenly appear and linger for a few hours and go away again. I had my coteacher and Korean friends try and figure it out. I even told the gas lady when she came for her usual inspection. Everyone said they had no idea what it was.

One day I happened to be leaving my apartment when the smell came. When I got outside I could smell it on the street...so from them on I just assumed that it was from the sewers from outside and not my actual apartment with a problem.  Also, I never smelled it in the summer. The winter was the only time I smelled it.

I have no idea if this is anything like what you're experiencing...but I thought I would share just in case..


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2018, 02:39:34 pm »
There's an aerosol spray you can buy for ACs, but I don't know the name. It looks like a normal can spray but it'll have a tube at the nozzle so you can direct it into vents.

When my AC was making a bad smell, I used it and it helped. I think it cleans it out and at the same time eliminates any mould or fungal growth.. but don't quote me on that.

Anyway, you're supposed to do it while the AC is running, so what I did was turn on the AC, spray a buttload into the AC, and let it run for like 10 minutes or so.. And now the smell is gone.

Maybe you can ask any Koreans you know about this spray. If that doesn't fix it, I would get someone to service your AC unit.. the WHOLE unit. There might be something in the external fan..


..Also, what do people do to get rid of the sewer gas smell in the BATHroom? It seems like the drain needs a lot of maintenance if you don't want it to smell :cry:
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 02:43:30 pm by DivineDimSum »
Bwaa


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2018, 01:47:13 am »
Hmm, I am not sure try to figure out the source of the smell I guess. I lived in a house that was basically a studio with a separate bathroom. If I left the bathroom door open there would be an awful smell.
Who is ESLinsider?


Re: Sewer gas smell in bedroom??
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2019, 07:13:59 pm »
If your air conditioner smells bad, there could be a few issues at play, depending on the type of odor coming from your unit.  Learn more about what different smells can mean when they come from your air conditioning and how you can alleviate the issue in your home ASAP.

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